Today, there are three main methods for the treatment of Glaucoma: Medical, Laser, and Surgical.
These treatment options for controlling Glaucoma are quite important, as Glaucoma has no cure. The good news is that as long the diagnosis of Glaucoma is early, the disease is almost always treatable. Thanks to advances in Glaucoma treatment, our doctors can recommend an individual treatment plan that is best for you.
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is the most common type of Glaucoma, treated by the three different approaches mentioned above. Depending on the severity of your progression, these treatments can preserve your vision.
Medical Treatment of Glaucoma
Eye drops, the most frequently used treatment of Glaucoma, lowers your Intraocular Pressure (IOP), a tell tale sign of Glaucoma. Using eye drops successfully treated more than 80% of patients with Open Angle Glaucoma. These eye drops work one of two ways. They either decrease the amount of fluid produced inside your eye, or increase the drainage rate of fluid from your eye. For most patients, using the eye drops 1-2 times per day controls IOP, slows, and/or halts vision loss.
Unfortunately, some patients may experience side effects of these eye drops. Further, some patients are unable to achieve adequate control with eye drops alone. These patients require Laser Treatment in addition to eye drops to maintain control.
Laser Treatment of Glaucoma
The use of Laser Treatment for Glaucoma has become an important treatment option for many patients. In the past, Laser was considered a last resort before Glaucoma Surgery. However, thanks to laser advancement, using laser in conjunction with eye drops is an excellent treatment plan. Laser Treatment is widely used and is becoming the choice treatment for many Glaucoma patients who experience issues with eye drops alone.
Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT) is a type of laser treatment that helps reduce the IOP by creating more effective drainage of fluid through the Trabecular Meshwork. Unfortunately for some patients, the effect of ALT decreases over time, rendering it ineffective. This is limiting since ALT cannot usually be repeated.
If Laser Treatment is the best option, our eye doctors will explain the risks and benefits so you fully understand your treatment options.
Surgical Treatment of Glaucoma
For a small number of patients, it is still not possible to achieve stable control of Glaucoma through eye drops or laser.
For these patients, there are surgical procedures available to treat Glaucoma. These include removing a tiny piece of the Trabecular Meshwork, a surgical procedure called Trabeculectomy, Sclerostomy, or Filtering Procedure. Doctors can also implant a microscopic Glaucoma Valve to help reduce and stabilize the IOP.
Glaucoma is a very complex eye disease, and not simply an elevated Intraocular Pressure (IOP). Nonetheless, when detected early it can be successfully treated. The Eye Center provides diagnosis and medical, laser and surgical treatment of Glaucoma in order to help preserve vision.
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If you, a family member or friend, would like to learn more about the medical, laser, or surgical treatment of Glaucoma, please call The Eye Center at 303-777-5455.